The bishop's love for music is from childhood
Metropolitan Kiprian of Stara Zagora will conduct the musical poem "The Hermit of Rila".
The poetic work "The Hermit of Rila" was created in 1937 by the writer Tihomir Pavlov. It recounts the life of St. John of Rila the Wonderworker. The poem remained in oblivion until in 2022 the composer and conductor Father Kiril Popov found it in his personal archive and was musically inspired to restore it. His Eminence Metropolitan Kiprian of Stara Zagora was chosen as the conductor of the spectacle.
"I gratefully accepted this invitation and I hope with God's help the musical poem will come to fruition so that people can go away satisfied knowing the life of St. John of Rila the Wonderworker, his Eminence Metropolitan Kiprian of Stara Zagora said.
The bishop's love for music goes back to childhood. His first contact with it was in the school of Petya Pavlovich, then in the Music School in Stara Zagora. He conducted the St. Sofroniy Vrachanski choir, and after the archiepiscopal election he more than once stood at the conductor's desk at the State Opera – Stara Zagora.
"Music is a gift from God, and the man who neglects his gift from God also offends God. Music is that which soothes and gives hope. In conducting and discussing script, libretto, choral, solo and orchestral performances, it is still a sermon for those people who are on the stage and in the orchestra pit. They come closer to God when it is explained to them by a cleric and the experience becomes unified," said the Metropolitan of Stara Zagora.
Atanas Mladenov impersonates the character of young John.
"For me this is an interesting journey inside the human soul. Something a bit unusual for a classically trained opera artist. The whole piece has a message to people – to seek the light and their inner peace. It's quite a valuable lesson in a time when we have all turned outward," Mladenov commented.
The musical poem in two acts and ten scenes will be performed on 10 and 23 May on the stage of the Sofia Opera and Ballet, marking 70 years since the restoration of the Bulgarian Patriarchate.
See more in Blagovest Iliev's reportage.